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How to Confront a Suspected Thief

How to Confront a Suspected Thief

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Cricket, Recently, I dressed up for a presentation at school. (I am 14, by the way.) I brought a drawstring bag with me with, an extra set of pants, and my $160 sneakers to change into when my presentation was done. I accidentally left my drawstring bag with my pants and sneakers in...


The Two-Minute Rule and How to Use It

The Two-Minute Rule and How to Use It

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, The two-minute rule often blows up on me. I frequently find that what I thought would be a two-minute task takes longer than two minutes. For example, I’ll open an email and think I can respond quickly by just confirming one thing, but when I check that one thing, I...


How to Improve Employee Morale

How to Improve Employee Morale

Posted in Influencer

Dear Crucial Skills, How do you suggest a large institution go about changing a can’t-do attitude to a can-do attitude when morale is low? We’ve had budget and staffing cuts and have a history of “silos” throughout the organization. Can you help? Signed,Salvaging What...


How to Deliver Feedback without Insulting Someone

How to Deliver Feedback without Insulting Someone

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, How do you deliver feedback that seems to relate less to behavior and more to personality? I oversee an Employee Resource Group (ERG). The leader of this group, like the members of it, volunteers his time and energy to the ERG. We all want the members to thrive and...


Responsibility—It Cuts Both Ways

Responsibility—It Cuts Both Ways

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I am one of four adult sisters (all of us over 50 years old). We have a highly critical father who recently has begun making pre-inheritance gifts with ridiculous conditions attached. For example, he recently gifted us two condos, then later told us they are a...


What Science Says About Stress, Cognition, and Clarity

What Science Says About Stress, Cognition, and Clarity

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, GTD teaches that “your mind is for having ideas, not for holding them.” What does the science say? Does it support this statement? Sincerely,Curious GTD Student _____________________ Dear Curious, Your head is a terrible office. Your mind evolved to do...


How to Say No at Work Without Ruining Your Reputation

How to Say No at Work Without Ruining Your Reputation

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, What’s the best way to say no? On a recent webcast, you mentioned the importance of declining requests and renegotiating commitments. So, I tried it. A coworker came to me with an emergency and I declined to help. I didn’t have the time and I said, “No, I’m sorry. I can’t...


How to Harness Technology So it Doesn’t Harness You

How to Harness Technology So it Doesn’t Harness You

Posted in Getting Things Done

Dear Crucial Skills, Do you ever feel that technology gets in the way of productivity? That tools slow things down? I agree that some communication and project- and time-management tools are invaluable. But often they get in the way of getting things done. For example, the number of apps and...


How to Approach a Coworker Who Goes Over Your Head

How to Approach a Coworker Who Goes Over Your Head

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, What should I do when my coworker complains about my performance to my superiors before or without addressing the concern with me? I wish I had the opportunity to talk with her, but she always goes over my head. Signed, No Opportunity to Address...


What To Do When You Think a Coworker Resents Your Promotion

What To Do When You Think a Coworker Resents Your Promotion

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I have recently been promoted and am now responsible for a group of program managers and their projects. I have been with the company about two years and am the newest member of the team. One of the program managers has taken significant issue with my promotion. He has...


How to Respond to Public Criticism from a Coworker

How to Respond to Public Criticism from a Coworker

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, I have a challenge with a relatively new coworker who consistently tells me how “he would do my job if he were me.” He says this in front of my staff members. I respect his knowledge and leadership, but the frequent digs are starting to get to me. I have taken him aside...


How to Solicit and Receive Feedback You Might Not Want to Hear

How to Solicit and Receive Feedback You Might Not Want to Hear

Posted in Crucial Conversations

Dear Crucial Skills, My church says they need the members to help with various responsibilities, so I volunteer often. But when I do, I’m told to focus on my family. Or people tell me they’re worried I’ll get burned out. They’ve also suggested my excitement is “a little over the top.” Other...